Entertainers in Papua New Guinea (PNG) must band together and lobby the government to establish a body to police pirating. In JK’s weekly column last week, he brought to light the plight of struggling artists like Anslom, who although a superstar in the music industry is struggling because of his music being openly pirated.
The only organisation that seems to be taking a stand against pirating is CHM. However, they are interested in protecting only their interests. As a result, you will find that CHM produced audio CD, cassettes and DVDs are not pirated in Port Moresby whereas other centres this is rampant because of the lack of their presence. Unfortunately, this leaves others in the entertainment industry open to pirating. These others include international labels as well as local labels.
The way forward is for the government to put aside their petty politics and really look into this serious issue. Pirating is a billion kina industry which the government receives no tax from – literally millions of kina in revenue is lost annually. The money from these transactions too, being unaccounted for, may eventually end of funding the wrong organisations like the crime syndicates or even terrorist networks.
The onslaught of pirating too will affect our international image and in turn the confidence of potential investors especially in the entertainment industry. A country in which pirating is openly practiced portrays a lax of business security.
The onus now stands with the entertainers like Anslom, Uralom, O-Shen, Hausboi, JW and the others to band together and lobby the government for help. Trying to do it alone is too expensive and in the long run the pirates will win. To help them in their cause, they can lobby support from the international community to pressure the government of the day to take action.
Although, the copyright act is enabled, there is no one actually policing it, allowing pirates to run amuck. The police and ICCC and others do not seem interested in this issue or maybe are too overloaded with other responsibilities. Hence a separate body is needed to focus on the issue of entertainment pirating, allowing other agencies to focus on other areas. This will also provide peace of mind for entertainers, investors and consumers like me.